Gold Star GCC's Nursing Program

Nursing Program Earns Strong Workforce Stars Recognition


Innovative program advances economic and social mobility for students

Glendale, Calif. – Glendale Community College’s (GCC) nursing program earned the California Community Colleges’ Strong Workforce Stars recognition at the Gold Star level for its success in improving student employment and wage outcomes through its innovative career education program.

Strong Workforce Stars is an annual recognition for career education programs, also known as career technical education, within the California Community Colleges system whose graduates show significant gains in factors important for advancing social mobility – a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage and a job closely matched with the field of study.

“It is not surprising that our nursing program achieved this important Gold Star recognition. Especially when you see the caring, professional commitment of our faculty and staff to the educational and professional success of our students, in collaboration with our local community colleges and universities, as well as our local employers and workforce development partners,” said Jan Swinton, GCC Dean of Workforce Development.

Michelle Ramirez Saelak, GCC Assistant Nursing Program Director and Assistant Professor of Nursing Science says, “We are thrilled to receive this amazing honor!  This award is a testament to the commitment that the college has for its registered nursing program and it is a strong reflection of the dedication that our faculty and staff have for our students.  Our department is comprised of hard-working, diligent and passionate faculty and staff who care about the caliber of student we send into the workforce.  We remind students of the solid reputation we have in the community and we empower them to uphold this status.  We emphasize the importance of being competent and compassionate nurses; we encourage students to practice respect, humility, kindness, leadership and lifelong learning.  These attributes make students desirable for employment and our historic partnerships at the local facilities have allowed GCC students to become fixtures within the community.  Former GCC graduates have a positive connection to the program and often come back to work, volunteer, help or precept students out in the hospitals and community. A strong faculty, a dedicated nursing program counselor, a nursing program specialist, a supportive nursing resource lab and a solid director all make up this family that raises its students to reach their maximum potential.  We are so grateful for this recognition!” 

The 2018 Strong Workforce Stars were given to career education programs throughout the state in 12 industry sectors, based on earnings gains, living wage attainment, and employment in field of study. Those named Strong Workforce Stars met one or more of the following thresholds:

  • An increase in earnings by 50 percent or more, based on a match to the state wage file, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2015-16.
  • Attainment of the regional living wage by 70 percent or more, based on a match to the state wage file, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2015-16.
  • 90 percent or more are employed in a job similar to their field of study, according to the Career Technical Education Outcomes Survey, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2014-15.

This year, the Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, and Gold Stars levels were introduced, with each winning program receiving recognition in one of those categories. Bronze Stars programs met one or more thresholds; Silver Stars met two; and Gold Stars met all three.

GCC’s outcomes in the Registered Nursing, Health sector are as follows:

  • Percent of students attaining regional living wage: 84%
  • Percent increase in student earnings: 169%
  • Percent of students securing employment in their field of study: 100%

“Strong Workforce Stars career education programs are proven to help Californians increase their earning power,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, executive vice chancellor for Workforce & Digital Futures. “With the introduction of levels this year, we are able to highlight those programs that are seeing significant results, as well as those that are on the rise toward even greater success.”

Posted on May 7, 2018